Anthony Leone has been tabbed as the replacement for Rafael Silva, taking on Bellator bantamweight champion Eduardo Dantas at Bellator 111.

Set for March 7 from the Winstar World Casino in Oklahoma, the main card will also feature the start of the heavyweight tournament.

“This was a difficult process with Silva suffering injury, but when we considered all our options, we felt like this decision made the most sense,” Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney said. “After we heard the news on Silva, we immediately made the call to our other bantamweight tournament winner Joe Warren.

“Joe informed us he was still rehabbing a previous knee injury and would be unable to compete on the March 7 card, but he will be 100-percent ready to go for his originally scheduled fight in May.

“It’s always our goal to keep our fighters as busy as possible, and we didn’t want Eduardo sitting on the sidelines. With our tournament champion replacement clause in place, we contacted Anthony and are moving full steam ahead with our bantamweight title fight on March 7 to headline a huge night of fights.”

Leone was defeated by Silva in the tournament finals, but has has won four of his last five overall.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for me and when I got the call from Bjorn, I jumped at the opportunity,” Leone said. “Dantas is incredibly tough and I’m in for a tough fight, but I’m ready for this title fight, and I’m going to make the most of the opportunity.”

Below is the current lineup:


Bellator Bantamweight Championship
Eduardo Dantas (c) vs. Anthony Leone

Bellator Heavyweight Tournament Opening Round
Lavar Johnson vs. Ryan Martinez

Bellator Heavyweight Tournament Opening Round
Peter Graham vs. Mighty Mo

Bellator Heavyweight Tournament Opening Round
Alexander Volkov vs. Mark Holata


Bellator Heavyweight Tournament Opening Round
Blagoi Ivanov vs. Rich Hale

Heavyweight: Daniel Miller vs. Cortez Coleman

Heavyweight: Javy Ayala vs. Eric Prindle

Catchweight: Emeliano Sordi vs. Matt Jones

Lightweight: Brent Primus vs. Chris Jones

Featherweight: Treston Thomison vs. Stephen Banaszak